When a retirees travel lifestyle is a priority, major changes from previous living arrangements become necessary. Probably the first thing to consider is that big house where the children grew up and there are now three or so empty bedrooms. Sure, the kids may come occasionally for holiday visits and grandchildren may have been added to the brood. But what about those long months when the house is virtually empty yet still requires daily upkeep?
Decisions have to be made. If we do the kind of travel we’ve dreamed about, who is going to look after that large property while we’re away? It doesn’t take long to conclude that we seriously need to downsize our current living situation.
Options include such ideas as selling the big house and downsizing to a much smaller 2-bedroom place. The money we make from the sale can go into our travel fund. To solve the room problem when the children and grandchildren come for a visit is as simple as booking rooms at a local motel. It’s not the same, perhaps, but after all even if they are there in the old house, the night times are for sleeping anyway. Maybe if we’re retired and no longer restrained by work schedules and vacations, a better solution is for us to go visit them instead.
Perhaps more adventurous seniors will opt for a live-in RV. This is truly a travel lifestyle as we are able to go at a moment’s notice wherever we want to travel. There are some things to consider before making such a drastic move, however. Our home now is a machine which requires regular maintenance and is subject to mechanical breakdowns. We also have to call ahead to RV parks and reserve a parking space as we travel. Banking and bill paying also come with their particular problems, and RVs need something the house doesn’t—fuel!
Preferring to remain in the family home, we might look into reverse mortgage on the property. If the home has plenty of equity and is worth over $150,000, there might be a good steady income to supplement any retirement funds and savings we have. The reverse mortgage would only be considered if the children have no interest in moving in after we’re gone.
Once our downsizing has been determined, we are free to do that travel we’ve dreamed about. One way to kill two birds with one stone by combining travel and downsizing is to find a place in another country where we can buy property cheaply and the cost of living is considerably less than it is in America. One hang-up, however, might be the amount of money the adopted country requires for deposit in a local bank. The idea is to be sure the immigrants have means of moving on if the need should arise.
Like everything in life, our downsizing to be able to travel comes with its own set of complications. Success depends on the ability to work toward dreams and never give up.
Share your travel dreams and downsizing ideas by commenting below.